6 Burundi soldiers killed in al-Shabaab attack outside Mogadishu

Six Burundi soldiers working under the framework of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) were killed in Somalia, Burundi military confirmed Sunday.

In a statement, Colonel Floribert Biyereke, spokesman of the Burundian army said the soldiers were killed in an al-Shabaab attack near Somali capital Mogadishu.

The attack happened near Bal’ad after heavily armed al-Shabaab fighters stormed AU forward operating base (FOB) manned by Burundi soldiers prompting hours of fighting.

“Elements of the al-Shabaab terrorist group have attacked Burundian soldiers of the Somalia Peacekeeping Mission (AMISOM) in Balad district, located about 30 kilometers northeast from the capital city of Mogadishu,” Biyereke said.

“Six soldiers were killed on the spot. Three others sustained serious injuries. Two soldiers are missing,” he added.

AMISOM has not yet commented on the attack against Burundi contingent.

Burundi troops arrived in Somalia in 2007 as part of the first African Union peacekeepers mandated by the United Nations to help by then the transitional federal government of Somalia maintains peace.

Burundi has the second-largest contingent in the peacekeeping operation with 5,400 troops, after Uganda, which has 6,200 men.

The AU has a 21,500 Force, AMISOM, to support Somalia government and fight al- Shabaab armed group.